It is often remarked that prostitution is the oldest profession in the world, and it is possible that is correct except I would have thought that some ancient culture, or religious mania or dogma, would have that distinction. I saw a survey the Gleaner is doing on their website, regarding the legality of prostitution, and I am inclined to believe that it should cause debate, very much like that famous (or infamous) marijuana issue.

So consulting my oracle, I was made aware of the following: Properly licensed working-girls and their place of activities can be a great controlling factor in many dangers of that profession. Licensing a prostitute by way of a carrying card similar to an NIS card (that domestics use) can place the harlot under the scrutiny of the Police, the medical profession, and social services.

On a periodic basis that card would be handed to a designated authority (or a tax office), a fee would be made to make the rounds through security, medical tests, family planning, and other social services. The various controls would then supervise their responsibilities. Police would manage trafficking, brothels, child prostitution, narcotics; Medical would contemplate sexual diseases, AIDS control, and family planning.

Social could probably find living solutions for the prostitutes, their children and other family; and some educational opportunities. It is the unfortunate lack of literacy and education that has caused the degree of prostitution in Jamaica.

In the course of testing, the views of some medical persons are somewhat different. If the prostitute is tested every four weeks, she or he) may contract HIV in the course of a day’s business, and many of her partners would be affected within the six weeks needed to conclude an HIV test.

It is only of late that a Home Rapid test Kit is available (2012), which may result in a forty minute result; the reliability of which needs to be confirmed.

If the prostitute works on a casual basis, then the occupation becomes hazardous. In other words, a sometime prostitute is more likely to be infected than one in a brothel, because the latter has a better medical discipline.

The majority of courtesans, while being attractive and pragmatic human beings, seem to be exceedingly poor in their educational level; being unable to write or count. This is the main reason that a young female may find herself in this service; simple education to bring the prostitute out of ignorance will succeed except for one other factor;  the financial benefit of income, makes it difficult for the prostitute to give up her occupation.

Many Jamaican women travel to the more affluent resort islands in this profession, St. Martin, Barbados, and Trinidad, and any other available location, Curacao, Antigua, Nassau, where hard currency is available. A significant number of prostitutes dance in Jamaica’s night clubs and a small percentage of them may be from other countries. Massage parlors in Jamaica sometimes operate as fronts for brothels. These are well advertised in local pornographic magazines and in official papers (

Gay prostitutes can be found working in hotels as entertainment agents. The Homophobic nature of the country makes male prostitutes generally conduct their business with more discretion. Still, some male prostitutes have been known to operate on Hotel premises.

Many hope of gaining a connection via their client, with whom they will later travel to a developed country. Sexual favors are often the result and money will be exchanged. To-day, hardly any of this result in long-term relationships, as the man is aware (

Economic difficulties and social pressures contribute to the prevalence of child prostitution.  Young girls are hired by “go-go” clubs or massage parlors. And children are also trafficked internally for sexual exploitation which is in breach of International Human Rights.

Generally speaking very little can be done for a prostitute, if she does not come under agreed surveillance by legal means, such as those described above. We should support any move that brings them under non-vindictive, legal management.    (652 words)

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